Sexual Behavior: Research and Practice

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

By Barbara Gross, Jess Dahl, & Landa Fox

The Sexual Behavior: Research and Practice Special Interest Group of ABAI disseminates empirically verified information regarding sex education and therapy and supports basic and applied research on the emergence and maintenance of sexual behaviors. Members are professionals, teachers, direct service providers, parents, and consumers who are concerned with issues of sex therapy, sex education, and research. Additional information can be found on our website:

Sexual Behavior: Research and Practice SIG was founded in 2007 and has been providing a symposium at ABAI’s annual convention since its inception. Past topics have included sex education for students with developmental disabilities, the ethical treatment of inappropriate sexual behavior, and scientific descriptions of basic processes involved in the formation of sexual behavior. 2020 was a year which included many challenges for the SIG as individuals and as members of the global community. SIG interests included in the 2021 ABAI annual conventiom through were a symposium and a panel discussion on ethics in the area of sexual behavior and considerations for interventions on higher-risk sexual behaviors. Symposia topics include discussions of legal risks in practice, behavioral conceptualizations of sexual behavior risk, client access to pleasure, and non-compliance teaching. The SIG also continued to provide web-based access to information and support via our website, and regularly disseminates research related to sexual behavior. Check our website for upcoming events (!

The Sexual Behavior: Research and Practice SIG plans to continue to disseminate current research on topics pertaining to sexual behavior, to build on our community outreach through the maintenance of our SIG Journal Club, and to build community knowledge on sexual behavior research methodology and ethics. We also will continue to release the annual newsletter to spread information about sexual education and research. We’re looking forward to the year ahead!

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